Husky released one of the best albums of 2020. Now, they’ll finally play it live

Husky released one of the best albums of 2020. Now, they’ll finally play it live

We caught up with Husky’s chief songwriter Husky Gawenda in the lead-up to the show.

On Thursday March 25, Husky will be performing their first live show since the beginning of the pandemic, as part of Chapel Summer Sessions – the gig series that takes over Prahran’s beloved Chapel Off Chapel venue each year.

The performance will also double as an album launch of sorts, with the Melbourne folk outfit not having performed their fourth album, Stardust Blues, live before.

In the lead-up to the show, we sat down with the band’s chief songwriter Husky Gawenda to chat about everything Husky, exploring Stardust Blues‘ backstory and where the band sit in the contemporary music landscape. Let’s do this!

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The music realm which Husky navigates is adored and relied upon – your warm and delicate folk comforts listeners and makes them feel at home. What role does Husky play in the contemporary music landscape?

As a songwriter I want to tell stories and I want to move people. Music and poetry, both recorded and live, mean a lot to people. They help people feel things they need to feel. They help us make sense of it all. I hope to play my small part in this communal enterprise.

Last year, you released your fourth album amidst a pandemic. Tell us about the journey to Stardust Blues and what’s the response been like since the record was released?

An album is always a big journey, with ups and downs. Stardust provided more ups than downs. We made the record on our own terms, with no pressure from the outside, only our own self-imposed pressure to make something we’d be proud of.

I think we came the closest we’ve ever come to realising our vision. In art that is all you can hope for. That and for people to like it, which some certainly have. The response was great – I think people really needed music last year, more than ever.

The album has a fascinating story, having been written and partially recorded in an old hotel. Where was The Westbury Hotel located and how did such a setting influence the creation of Stardust Blues?

The Westbury Hotel was in Balaclava, Melbourne. We finished Stardust just before it got demolished. It was a place alive with interesting characters and artists and stories. One felt the magic when they walked in the front door. That kind of atmosphere is inspiring. It lent the album many of its stories and some of its magic.

You will be performing as part of Chapel Summer Sessions on Thursday March 25, your first show since the beginning of the pandemic, and your first time performing Stardust Blues. How are you guys feeling about the show?

It’s been so long, I’m not sure how to feel. It was really hard releasing an album without being able to play it live at all. We had our first rehearsal the other day and there was this feeling of excitement and relief in the room.

What can we expect from the performance?

Well we’re going to play a lot of new songs and a few old songs. We have a guest guitarist singer playing with us. And I think the show is gonna be quite emotional, it being our first in so long.

Amidst all the chaos and uncertainty of recent times, Chapel Summer Sessions has managed to pull together an incredible program for 2021. How did you guys get involved with Chapel Summer Sessions?

They’ve done an amazing job pulling together this series. We met through a different project, and I’m glad we did. They are a great crew – inspired and passionate.

Husky hit Chapel Off Chapel for Chapel Summer Sessions on Thursday March 25 (sold out). Check out the rest of the Chapel Summer Sessions gigs here.